Gravitational wave detectors: Today and in future

Roman Schnabel,
Univ. Hannover und MPI für Gravitationsphysik

Gravitational waves have long been predicted by Albert Einstein using the theory of general relativity, but so far have not been directly observed. Currently, an international array of first-generation, kilometer-scale laser interferometric gravitational-wave detectors, targeted at gravitational-waves in the acoustic band from 10 Hz to 10 kHz, is going into operation. These first-generation detectors are all Michelson interferometers with suspended mirrors. Second-generation detectors are planned, and at the same time, third-generation detectors already come to the fore. In such interferometers new technologies will be applied, involving squeezed light, quantum-non-demolition position sensing and cryogenic cooling of 100 kg super mirrors.